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A fairer way to support children?

(54 Posts)
YoureBeingASillyBilly Sun 25-May-14 12:44:40

There has been much talk recently regarding the planned reforms of the CSA and what that will mean for it's service users and most importantly, the children whose interests it was created to look after.

I have been thinking about this topic on and off for a few years and i think there is a fairer way to distibute the financial support needed to raise children that doesnt leave parents at the mercy of each other nor leave children without the support they are entitled to.

I have been asked to start a thread here with a view to laying out my thoughts in a way that allows others to discuss the pros and cons and the possibility of bringing something feasible to the attention of our MPs in the hope that a better system could be implemented in the future.

To start i think it would be extremely easy for the powers that be to calculate a national weekly cost of raising a child. Highly likely that this figure already exists and is recalculated annually.

Using this figure it would then be possible to divide it in two and apportion half to each parent of a child. The figure would be a national minimum that every parent would pay until/unless they were earning above a specified income threshold at which point the individual's contribution would increase according to income.

How does this get to the child? When a child is registered at birth, both parents would automatically be registered in the tax system as liable to pay a 'child tax' that would be desuctable from source, either their working salary/self employed income or their benefits if applicable.

This tax would then be redistributed (with a govt contribution if eligible) in a weekly/four weekly payment in the same way as child benefit is currently paid. I.e; into the account of the person registered to receive CB.

For parents who are in a relationship this may not seem necessary but this system would really come into it's own in the event of a relationship break down when household finances are divided.

For couples who separate this system would mean no need for arranging child maintenance, this would be an extremely important factor in the case of domestic violence or partners who have been financially abusive. No contact eould be required between the two parties as the payment would just continue to be taken from both parent's source of income and paid to the Govt. at a rate decided by the Govt and paid at a rate decised by the Govt.

It removes the opportunity for either party to harrass or abuse the other using the threat of witholding money or that of subjecting them to constant harrassment from the collection agency.

It would also mean that the parent with care could depend on a set amount coming in on a set date with no fluctuations or 'non payment' of support. It would be paid every week/4 weeks without fail and at the same rate.

It would be possible to have a variation in the payment for parents who share care so that 50/50 care would mean each parent received half of the total payment and so on for different arrangements. Both parents would get the payement to reflect the amount of physical care they provide.

There has been much mention of the difficulty in getting a child maintenance award from non resident parents who are self employed and claim to earn very little. This would no longer have an impact on the parent with care and child. They would recieve their weekly/4 weekly payment regardless of whether the NRP paid. The NRP who didnt pay their child tax would be creating a tax debt with the Govt just the same as if they didnt pay tax on their earnings and it would be the Govt who were responsible for reclaiming that debt not the PWC. A non paying parent would have NO IMPACT on the child who would get their child support without fail.

I think one of the most important points here is that this system requires equal contribution from both parents. Both parents have to pay, both parents will receive it in a rate that reflects the physical time they care for their child. If either parent doesnt pay, they owe the Govt and will be pursued by the Govt and not the other parent. Each parent bares no responsibility and has no power over whether the other parent pays, nor how much the other pays. And most importantly, the child gets the support regardless of whether a parent pays or not.

I think i've mentioned all the points i intended to but will post any more that come to me. I'm really interested in hearing any thoughts on this and ideas to tweak it and make it even better an more workable so that we may one day have something that resembles a fair system for supporting children.

Viviennemary Tue 03-Jun-14 16:20:13

It just isn't feasible. People will always find an excuse not to pay. Giving up their jobs, being self employed and not declaring total earnings and so on. But something has to be done to make people financially responsible for their children. But quite what nobody seems to know.I agree it's people who move on to new relationships and more children whilst neglecting to provide for their first family. They are the worst offenders.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 03-Jun-14 17:50:05

Vivienne- with the bloomings suggestion the person not paying wouldnt affect the child. The CSa would pay the minimum amount regardless and they would have to chase the non paying NRP for the debt they owed them. So even i they did quit work they wouldnt be doing their child out of any money and actually accrueing a debt with CSA.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 03-Jun-14 17:51:00

Sorry, not 'the' blooming. Just blooming grin

timefliesby Tue 24-Jun-14 14:43:18


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